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Starting the older broodmare/pasture pet :)

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  • Starting the older broodmare/pasture pet :)

    Hi! I want some opinions/ideas on a horse I was given to as a project. Background information: she is 14 year old OTTB mare around 15.2 hands that raced 18 times and made around 30k and was retired to be a broodmare. She had several babies and from my understanind only had a month or two of training under saddle off the track. Mare has clean legs BTW! I have ridden her only 4-5 times but she is so quiet! She can walk trot and canter but right now we are mostly just walking and trotting long and low to develop a top line. I have even ridden her bareback out of the ring in an open field on her 4th ride. I have never started a horse this late in life. what can I expect when compared to a younger horse? She doesn't seem to have any OTTB "moments" in her. In fact, she's the quietest horse on the farm both on the flat and lunging and riding. Even out in the open when its 30 degrees and windy! Since she doesn't have any base of fitness like other OTTBs I plan to spend a lot of time doing short flat work sessions and hacking out walking and trotting for now. We don't have a ring where I ride but there are some paved roads and plenty of open trails. I have a sort of fitness plan in the works. I will be riding with 2 really good trainers starting next month so I can talk to them as well. Will it take her as long as an unbroke horse to reach, say, BN? I would like to do some BN stuff in the spring around april. Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Congratulations!!! My very 1st personally owned all mine horse was a 20yr old broodmare....she was a lovely kind sound girl who didn't look her age and soaked up everything like a sponge very fast....

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      That's awesome! I'm really excited about her

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a friend who somehow keeps ending up with horses like this. The fact she has been ridden actually gives you a bit of a headstart.

        The biggest thing you'll find if she fits the pattern of my friend's horses is that it takes longer to retrain the muscles because she has spent her entire life using them in a way contrary to how you want her to go. The better her natural carriage, the less of an issue that will be. My friend has found that her older unstarted broodmare types are mentally much better than the youngsters in general - there are of course exceptions every way, but they seem more zen about life somehow. The fact this mare raced means she has been places and seen things which will help you, too. Just be aware first time you take her somewhere she's going to think she's going to race, and may or may not misbehave more for being older with that being her experience at travel.

        Just from the mares my friend ended up with, I think you ended up with a mare from a somewhat underrated demographic - good luck, and have fun!
        Originally posted by Silverbridge
        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Here's her pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/spright


          I plan on doing lots of long low flat work, caveletti, hills, and trail riding to keep her interested. I don't want to "force" her into having the correct headset like I see some people doing! she is also very naturally balanced so that helps a lot. Once I feel she has a good base on her topliine we will proceed from there. She also seems to reallllllly enjoy the attention!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Does anyone have any experience jumping wise with bringing along green horses? I know it all depends on the horse and I plan to take it slow but I'm not sure about height wise where to start out? X-rails and then verticals? I'm going to start with pole work and then trot pole and a jump. Should grids wait until she can canter a small course? How long should I keep the jumps low if she seems to be doing well? Is it reasonable to be going beginner novice by late spring? I plan to start taking her places as well in february for experience. I know my trainer will have opinions, too but I would like some first hand knowledge I have a couple of good books with suggestions and stuff but it will all depend on what she tells me.

            Comment


            • #7
              My mare never raced or had a foal but she had about 6 years of no work after being broke and introduced to the concept of work. Broke out at 3, I got her at 9 The 2 biggest issues we've faced have been work ethic - which your mare may remember since she raced - and lack of fitness as someone mentioned.

              The work will be very hard for her because she's so unfit, and if her work ethic is also still on sabbatical that can make for some argumentative moments.

              Taking it slow and noting her fitness is important - is she not doing something because she isn't strong enough? Or doesn't get it? Or is just being a pill (work ethic).

              The upside is that you know she's done growing, you know she at one time had a decent job and her brain is going to be adult - none of that 2-3 year old attention span of a gnat.

              I re-started my girl over logs since that's what she'd done before, and then crossrails with placing poles to give her an idea of where to put her feet. And as for height, you can always raise them if she's bored but if you start out too big and scare her, then you have a problem to fix.

              No need to wait for cantering courses before grids at all! In fact grids (use Wofford's book and a TAPE MEASURE!) really teach them where to put their feet.

              My mare took 6 months before she was semi-ready to go somewhere, and it was elementary. She is difficult. Each horse is different and will tell you when they're ready to do things. You can't judge your horse by another's progress.

              Comment


              • #8
                I really like her pedigree! I've seen some lovely horses by Wekiva Springs, and I like Wild Again as well.

                The folks who raced her liked her well enough to try to keep her out of the claiming ranks, though she eventually ended up there.

                Congratulations, and I hope you and she have many happy times!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  she has been really willing so far and will do whatever I ask so she seems to have a pretty good work ethic. What I like about her the most is that if something seems to spook her she will stop and stare at it and walk up to it. She is pretty brave! No "OMG SPIN AND RUN". Just a calm, "oh, hey, what's that? lets go check it out". I def do not want to scare her because I want to be able to have fun with her until she is ready to retire! When I ask for something undersaddle she tries and tries until she gets it and then she remembers it which is really cool! She doesn't get quick or ornery she just gets confused but is calm about it. She comes up to me in the pasture and loves to be fussed with. Another plus is that she hasn't had shoes for 9 years as a broodmare and they are nice for a thoroughbred lucky me? I will post some pictures in a month or two or maybe a video and you guys can give me some input on her progress

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StrawberryFields View Post
                    she has been really willing so far and will do whatever I ask so she seems to have a pretty good work ethic. What I like about her the most is that if something seems to spook her she will stop and stare at it and walk up to it. She is pretty brave! No "OMG SPIN AND RUN". Just a calm, "oh, hey, what's that? lets go check it out". I def do not want to scare her because I want to be able to have fun with her until she is ready to retire! When I ask for something undersaddle she tries and tries until she gets it and then she remembers it which is really cool! She doesn't get quick or ornery she just gets confused but is calm about it. She comes up to me in the pasture and loves to be fussed with. Another plus is that she hasn't had shoes for 9 years as a broodmare and they are nice for a thoroughbred lucky me? I will post some pictures in a month or two or maybe a video and you guys can give me some input on her progress
                    I am so jealous! Can't wait to see pictures and video.
                    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi, Strawberry Fields, I am doing the same thing!

                      Mine is a 20 yr old wmblood gelding whom I have been trail riding for a couple of years and have now decided to REALLY ride and hopefully do some baby eventing and eventually BN with.
                      We have just started lessons (had 4 so far) and we are working on establishing that outside rein and getting him (and me!!!) to straighten up, balance and not just waddle around.

                      Like your gal, the best thing about this boy is he is very sweet and tries hard (although he got tired this week at the end of the lesson and decided we needed to walk back to the barn RIGHT THEN AND THERE which was pretty funny).

                      I'd love to PM some with you and share ideas/experiences. Our first goal is a dressage schooling show in early April, hopefully do a Intro test and a Training test.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        sent you a pm!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't be surprised if she will be ready for BN later this spring. But just enjoy her and listen to her she may take a little longer. You need to do slow conditioning work a month or two before starting her jumping. Once she starts jumping training...you will have a better idea as to how quickly she will pick up the sport. Have fun with her!
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            thanks! Planning on starting to jump in february after she is a little fitter

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A BN by April may be a bit ambitious if she doesn't start jumping until Feb....but you never know. I took one to his first BN HT when he had only been in retraining for 60 days. He was pretty special though. Just don't set a dead line...and look to get out to some schooling dressage shows this winter.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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